I, like many women, am a homemaker. Whether you stay at home full time to take care of household duties, or you also have paid work, to some extent we are all homemakers. One very common complaint I hear is, “I just don’t have the time to engage my own interests. It’s hard work taking care of a home and family!”. And it is! It absolutely is hard work and it most certainly will eat every second of your time, if you allow it to.
A huge part of the problem here is that there’s a contradiction between social expectations (which we all tend to buy into) and reality.
Every home magazine we open has pictures of gorgeous, pristine houses and they are lovely, they really are. But just like airbrushed swimsuit models, they’re fantasy, not reality. In reality, home life is messy (the more children you add to it, the messier it tends to get). Home life can actually just be a constant dance of moving messes from one room to another. For the primary homemaker, this truly does feel endless, because it is. It takes an impossible amount of energy to try to maintain an illusion in the midst of messy reality.
Now, if you’re unwilling to allow this state of affairs to continue, there are multiple approaches you can take. Obviously you can just stop doing everything — completely drop your responsibilities and go do whatever you want. Or perhaps you can find an escape mechanism that allows you to do your work without being truly present. Drugs, alcohol, eating and spending money are some of the old favourites. Or maybe you can just pack yourself up and leave, escaping the issue altogether. But you know and I know that none of these options have a good result. In fact, if you have goals in life, taking any one of these options runs directly counter to success.
Instead, you need to find a way to balance your responsibilities to your home so that you can live up to your responsibilities to yourself. This begins not with decluttering, organisation or deep cleaning — it’s not actually about your home. It’s about you. This process begins with you, rejecting societal pressure and revolutionising the way you think about your home.
- When you think about your house right now, what are your immediate concerns about it?
- Do you wonder whether it is fashionable enough?
- Do you think about how other people might view and judge your house, its decor, your furniture?
- What stresses you out about it?
- When you’re cleaning your house, what is your attitude about it?
- Are you full of resentment at having to be stuck with the housework every day?
- Do you feel unappreciated?
- Do you feel like a slave to your home or family?
- Do you wonder what the point of all this work even is?
Most of the thoughts above come from the core views you have about your home. If you feel that you’re a slave to housework, it’s because you are not recognising the true value of your house. You are elevating surface values of your home — its appearance, its fashionability, its social value, what you believe your home says about your success in life — above its true value.
It is time to stop thinking of your home as a showcase and gain a revolutionary understanding of its value to you as a tool.
Having a home, just a place with walls, floors and a roof, running water and electricity, is possibly one of the least-valued and most overlooked gifts that we can be given in life. Think about all that your home currently enables you to achieve. From your kitchen, you feed your family over and over again, every day. From your laundry room, you keep clean, warm clothes ready for them to wear as they go out into the world. In your living room, you provide a place for them to rest and recuperate from their activities and prepare to go out and do it all again. Your home is a centre, to and from which your family returns to receive love, nurture, food, rest, protection and more. All of these functions are vital to the wellbeing, growth and success of you and your family. Consider what you would do, where you would be, if you did not have this place you call home.
Now, my guess is you’re already fully aware of all of these functions of your home and probably many more in addition. However, I’m going to guess that you are still vastly underestimating the potential of your home because of the way you think about it. Your house is not an entrapment for you, in fact it is the biggest tool in your toolbox when it comes to creating the life you want.
“What? How can I create the life I want when I’m always busy taking care of everyone and everything else?”, you say. You want objectives here, action points to making your home duties balance with your passions and goals in life. I will get to that later, but it is absolutely crucial that first you transform your mindset. This is not just about streamlining processes so that you can get that magazine look with less time and effort. If your mind keeps taking you back there, you’re not hearing me yet.
Your home is a tool.
If you are ready to recognise your home as a tool for creating the life you want, then you need to let your standards of care reflect the use of your home. This means that you are going to maintain your house as you would a beloved, frequently used tool, rather than a museum of your life and an attempt to live up to someone else’s expectations.
You’re going to focus much less on appearance, fashion and social appeal and much more on functionality and efficiency. You’re going to lower the presentation standard you expect from yourself and your home, because you’re going to elevate it from a mere decoration with benefits, to a dynamic, powerful and efficient tool that will help you on your pathway to creating your vision. This is the concept I want you to grasp right now, and we’ll start to get into the details in another post very soon.
I don’t have all the answers, but I do have some. If you’d like to be alerted when I post something new, please subscribe below.